Class 5A blog: Eight ranked teams move on to quarterfinal round

There were no surprises in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs last week.

Seven of the eight remaining teams are all ranked. Mays is the only unranked team in the field.

There are four region champions still standing – Ware County, Creekside, Dutchtown and Calhoun – and four No. 2 seeds remaining in the field – Coffee, Warner Robins, Mays and Cartersville.

The remaining teams are all bona fide. Warner Robins has won two straight state championships. Calhoun and Cartersville has reached the championship game the last two seasons. Coffee and Creekside reached the semifinals a year ago.

It should make for an outstanding Elite Eight round.

Here’s how they got there:

Calhoun: The No. 9 Yellow Jackets got the best of Kell 34-7. Quarterback Cam Curtis threw for a pair of touchdowns in the 34-7 win over Kell and Kristyane Gregory returned an interception for a score. Carlos Lopez booted a pair of field goals.

Ware County: The No. 1-ranked Gators beat Chamblee 24-7. The biggest play may have come late in the third quarter when the Gators blocked a punt and Trey Hargrove recovered it in the end zone. That gave Ware County a 17-7 lead and enough juice to carry over the rest of the night and beat Chamblee 27-7. Quarterback Niko Smith said on Twitter, “We kept our composure and played hard for each other.”

Warner Robins: The No. 8 Demons prevailed 38-7 over Northside-Columbus. Warner Robins played without starting quarterback Chase Reese, who was injured in the first playoff game. Isaiah Canion filled in nicely and threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to big Vic Burley, who also recovered a fumble on defense. Malcolm Brown and Elijah Antonio ran for touchdowns and Daniel Barber kicked a field goal.

Creekside: The No. 2 Seminoles routed Dalton 61-0 and did pretty much whatever they wanted. The running game was led by Travis Terrell Jr. (eight carries, 178 yards, four TDs) and Roderick McCrary (11 carries, 172 yards, two TDs) and quarterback Vinson Berry only threw the ball five times. Khary Morrow and Ta’shawn Evans each had 10 tackles and Kaquan Kimber had three tackles, one for loss and a sack.

Mays: The Raiders outlasted Cass 34-27 thanks to quarterback Saulamon Evans, who ran for two touchdowns and threw a 53-yard touchdown pass. Quinterion Kelly and Triston Moran both scored on touchdowns run.

Dutchtown: The No. 7 Bulldogs got plenty of contributions in its 41-14 win over Northgate, including 83 all-purpose yards and a strip-sack from Tarez Hamilton.

Coffee: The No. 6 Trojans rushed for 364 yards and seven touchdowns in the 51-23 win over Decatur. Antwain McDuffie rushed a17 times for 198 yards and three touchdowns and Fred Brown ran 12 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Jatavious Williams had 10 tackles and Larry Daniel had eight tackles, four tackles for loss, for Coffee. The Trojans had five sacks and intercepted a pass

Cartersville: The No. 5 Purple Hurricanes beat No. 5 Cambridge in the only second-round game between two ranked teams. Malachi Jeffries ran for three touchdowns and quarterback Paul Gamble ran for two scores and threw for another. Morocco Wilkey came up with an early interception to set the tone for Cartersville.

Elite Eight Matchups: Calhoun at Ware County, Mays at Dutchtown, Warner Robins at Creekside, Coffee at Cartersville.